Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / Relationship and family issues / Feeling helpless alcoholic partner and worried about my own mental health

Topic: Feeling helpless alcoholic partner and worried about my own mental health

17 posts, 0 answered
  1. Suckerforpunishment
    Suckerforpunishment  avatar
    5 posts
    19 June 2021

    Hi

    I’ve been with my current partner for around 6 years, he’s always been a heavy drinker but in the last 12 months or so it has become worse. He drinks around 10-12 cans of beer each night. I have tried to talk to him about the problem and the impact it is having on our relationship and the example it is setting for my two young children. I’ve also recently started working as a nurse and seeing the impact alcohol has on the patients I take care of is devastating. He is not violent when drinking but can be aggressive - as in he will stand over me or edge closer to my face and point his finger at me while loudly speaking … I feel his drinking is affecting me a lot more each day I feel helpless and lost and angry most of the time. It has gotten to the point that I cringe when I hear the cans open.
    I don’t know what to do anymore I just feel like crying and am hating my life

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    5937 posts
    19 June 2021 in reply to Suckerforpunishment
    Hi Suckerforpunishment, welcome to our friendly online community, we are so glad you decided to join us here.

    We are so sorry to hear that you've been feeling helpless and lost, it sounds like you’re in a really tough situation right now with your partner and his drinking. Please know you don't have to struggle with these emotions alone, there is support available that can help you through this.

    If you would like some help finding mental health support, we would recommend that you get in contact with the Beyond Blue Support Service. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 3pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals.

    We would also recommend that you get in touch with an organisation called Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277. They provide relationship support services for individuals, families and communities and aim to support all people in Australia to achieve positive and respectful relationships.

    Please check in and let us know how you are whenever you feel up to it.
    1 person found this helpful
  3. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15310 posts
    20 June 2021 in reply to Suckerforpunishment

    Hello Suckerforpunishment, and can I join Sophie in offering you a warm welcome to the site.

    Living with someone who is addicted, and in this case, it's alcohol, can absolutely affect you, as well as the kids, not only in their behaviour but also the cost of drinking 12 cans a night, with the possibility of having more outside of the house, which may be unknown, but know that once you start drinking, there is every chance other cans may be hidden away and whether or not he drinks at his mate's place.

    Although he may not be violent, he can be aggressive as you have told us and that's definitely a warning sign because his drinking is excessive can have consequences, including damaging your relationship only as the alcohol is more important and comes first before anything else.

    He would be delighted that you go to work, not only because of the money you earn but his ability to feel as though he can drink when no one is home or until the kids get home from school and may ignore their requests or demand what they should be doing, so it's going to affect how they are feeling and certainly something that you are going to worry about.

    Trying to explain that he needs to be rational about the situation, will be very difficult for him to understand, his priority is the alcohol, not the relationship, nor how to assist in helping towards the run of the house.

    Al Anon 1300 252 666 can firstly help the kids talk with qualified counsellors who dress in casual clothes and breaks down any barrier between them and the counsellors, I know they helped my sons when I was drinking when I was in depression.

    Secondly, you might want to talk to people where you work who will support and understand what you're saying, just as we do and a decision needs to be made and please remember the reason why he drinks is only what he believes and is no fault of yours.

    Can I ask you a question and please only answer if you want to, the house/flat you're living in is it in your name or joint names, we hope to hear back from you whenever you're available.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Suckerforpunishment
    Suckerforpunishment  avatar
    5 posts
    22 June 2021 in reply to geoff

    Thank you for the reply Geoff
    i do feel as though he enjoys a few extra drinks while I’m at work of an evening, there have been a few times I’ve called if I happen to get a short break to see how he is going and he has been incomprehensible due to slurring of his speech.
    these are all things I have brought up with him calmly and with compassion. Along with the fact that I am simply not attracted to him when he is drunk slurring and stumbling. My 2 children are from my previous marriage and I don’t work unless they are at their dads due to me simply not wanting to leave them in his care of an evening - saying this out loud makes me realize this is bad.
    the house we live in is in his name, it’s his mortgage, he doesn’t ask me to pay anything towards it, I usually transfer a few hundred each fortnight to his account and buy food as necessary,

    another thing I find quite strange is the fact that sometimes “friends from work” or clients of his will drop in cartons of beer for him as a thank you gift. Sometimes directly to our doorstep while I’m home and sometimes he brings them home stating someone had given it to him. When I questioned why they are giving him beer he simply says it’s because he went out of his way for them and they wanted to thank him.

  5. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15310 posts
    23 June 2021 in reply to Suckerforpunishment

    Hello Suckerforpunishment, I really appreciate you returning a reply to our comments.

    It is difficult to be attracted to someone who is intoxicated, not unless you are both having drinks, then it's a different situation, depending of course, however, I'm sure your two kids would much prefer to go to their dad's place, rather than stay with your partner who is drinking and a sensible choice.

    It seems his friends and/or clients know that he likes to drink and maybe before he comes home he's already had a few then when he gets home he goes straight to the frig and opens a can, disguising he's had a drink.

    As he's paying off the house and you contribute it still leaves you in an awkward position, whether living with someone who is addicted to alcohol is unknown because of their moods, especially if there is no alcohol to consume but they desperately need it and telling them not to have another can, only increases their desire to open a can, so it's a catch 22 situation.

    Coming home from night work must make you feel anxious, not knowing what sort of condition he's in and what requests he wants and for a sober person to confront an alcoholic and try to discuss a topic is certainly not an easy task and is going to affect you mentally, adding on to all the other problems concerning you.

    He can't use the ammunition that you're staying there rent free, because you contribute every fortnight and I'm sure you would do all the household chores, including the cooking, cleaning etc. so that's an enormous part to run the family, but more concerned for you whether or not this is the life you were hoping for.

    We hope to hear back from you whenever you're available.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Juliet_84
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Juliet_84 avatar
    570 posts
    27 June 2021 in reply to Suckerforpunishment

    Hi sucker for punishment,

    I am going through a similar thing at the moment, so my heart goes out to you. I know how soul-destroying this can be. My partner has always been a heavy drinker but in the last 6 months I feel that it’s “got him”. I know because he often makes promises to “cut back” but then has these massive nights at home and is stumbling around the place. I feel a mixture of emotions, including horror, sadness, empathy and loathing. I try not to be angry because I know it’s an addiction but sometimes I can’t help it, I’m so angry that he’s not even trying sometimes. It feels like a roller coaster ride that only goes down and I desperately want to get off but I’m strapped in for the ride. After one particularly bad night, my partner came home so drunk he could barely stand and ended up vomiting in his sleep while lying on his back.For the first time I realized that this may actually kill him, so I’ve booked him in for a GP visit and alcohol Counselling Services. I got the whole “I’ll cut back” bs but I just said that he’s had a year of that and he’s only gotten worse. Please prioritize your mental health in all of this, try to get an outlet that is separate from your relationship. I do and it’s so nice to be able to leave my problems behind even if it’s for a few hours

    1 person found this helpful
  7. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15310 posts
    28 June 2021 in reply to Juliet_84

    Hello Juliet and Suckerforpunishment, the words of a drinking spouse/partner that they will cut back mean nothing at all, it's a refusal to accept the truth and to admit the reality of their condition, it's denial, especially when they say 'I'll just have one more' which may lead onto having two or three more, debunking the idea that they do have a problem.

    An alcoholic will go to any lengths to get a drink and once they're intoxicated don't care one bit about what someone else says to them because their promise of tomorrow will never come, there will always be an excuse.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Juliet_84
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Juliet_84 avatar
    570 posts
    28 June 2021 in reply to geoff

    So true Geoff,

    Addiction is so hard for loved ones, because you are so entirely powerless to stop them. And the only person who can get help refuses to do so. I imagine it must be the same for loved ones of people with mental illness, you are relying on people who are not thinking clearly to make a rational decision and ask for help, but many can’t or refuse to.

    2 people found this helpful
  9. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15310 posts
    29 June 2021 in reply to Juliet_84

    Hello Juliet, you are correct as well.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

  10. imdone
    imdone avatar
    3 posts
    29 June 2021

    I know exactly how you feel... Hubby and I have been married 20 years, and we are still fighting the same fight.. over his drinking. While he doesn't necessarily drink daily, when he does, he can't stop..

    I'm feeling like I've come to the end of my rope. He has said for 20 years he knows he has a problem but he won't do anything about it. I really don't know what to do vat the moment either.. I'm so frustrated, sad and annoyed all at the same time.

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    5937 posts
    29 June 2021 in reply to imdone
    Hi imdone and erveyone else :)

    Thank you all for being a part of this conversation, it can be really difficult when relationships and addiciton combine in this way. It is wonderful that you have come to this forum to share your experiences and to seek support. 

    We have offered some options above but wanted to remind everyone of a few places that you can get support if you need it. 

    Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
    Lifeline 13 11 14
    Relationships Australia 1300 364 277
    Drinkwise - A webstie with lots of good information about alcohol addiction and abuse. 

    Thank you all for being supportive in this thread, we hope that these is something that can help here. Please reach out and ask for support if you need it, we are here for you and you are not alone. 

    Kind regards ,
    Sophie M
  12. Kornblume
    Kornblume avatar
    9 posts
    1 July 2021

    Hi suckerforpunishment and everyone else,

    I can relate very well to your posts, as I am married to an alcoholic for 25 years. We had lots of good times and lots of not so good times.

    It all would be so much easier just leaving and start over, I often ask myself why I still hang in there? But then, I still love my husband when he is sober and we got on quite well and we lived quite a normal married life until it went out of control about half year ago. His drinking and severe depression on his side was to much to handle for me.

    I think at some point the partner of an addicted person has to become a bit selfish. You will have to make sure that you are happy and in a position where you and your family feels safe. Do things without your partner and try to be as independent as possible.

    For me and my husband this means we manage both our finances seperate, I don't feel like I want to pay for his alcohol. We still live in the same house, but plenty of space, I am upstairs and he is downstairs. We have meals together and do things together but he only drinks in his rooms and I don't have the urge to control how much he drinks anymore. It works for us at the moment we still have up and downs. We leave it open if we might move back in together or seperate altogether.

    If you don't feel happy in your relationship you will have to change something. Don't wait for your partner to stop drinking he most likely won't.

    1 person found this helpful
  13. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15310 posts
    2 July 2021 in reply to Kornblume

    Hello Kornblume, a good comment.

    No matter what someone promises to a partner/spouse for them to stop drinking will never eventuate, the alcohol is far too strong, and many times you will be disappointed.

    If they are addicted, the person may promise the world when intoxicated, but it's completely different to when they're sober, their mind will only be when the clock turns to the time they believe it's OK to start drinking, or if the situation is desperate, they don't care about the clock and drink as soon as they're out of bed.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

  14. Suckerforpunishment
    Suckerforpunishment  avatar
    5 posts
    11 September 2021 in reply to Juliet_84

    Thank you for your reply :)

    here I am back here after a few months. Same situation it hasn’t changed .. at all.
    can I ask what outlet you have ? To get away so to speak? I’ve tried talking about this issue with my sister who I’m very close with and my dad (who also drinks heavily but not as much as my partner) but none of them seem to offer advice or want to talk about it with me. It’s mentally draining. I feel all those emotions you mention, but mostly anger and resentment.
    this is really hard… he is a good man I believe and doesn’t treat me badly, this is embarrassing but I don’t even want to be intimate with him, and I can tell this depresses him too. But I can’t help but think “well what do you expect!”

  15. Suckerforpunishment
    Suckerforpunishment  avatar
    5 posts
    11 September 2021 in reply to imdone

    Hi Imdone

    thank you for your reply, I know what you mean when you say you’re at the end - that’s exactly how I feel.. I’m interested to know as I haven’t been on for a while and it’s taken me a while to get back to you.. how are you going with it ?
    still hanging in there ?

  16. Suckerforpunishment
    Suckerforpunishment  avatar
    5 posts
    11 September 2021 in reply to geoff

    Thanks Geoff

    yes I understand this clock you are talking about. My partner used to drink around lunch time on weekends, I found this disgusting and he was using excuses like -*he’d mowed the lawns -time for a beer
    * footys on time for a beer

    *visiting a friend time for a beer

    i spoke to him about it and told him when he starts drinking this early he is smashed by 2 and doesn’t eat then gets even more drunk and passes out

    now his routine is he waits until around 4:30 when he feeds the dogs … as soon as he feeds the dogs , the beer opens .

    just last week I worked an early shift 7:30-4 and he offered to drive me so I didn’t have to pay for parking. That was lovely but then my boss asked me to work a double shift, I reluctantly agreed as they were short staffed but I knew I wouldn’t be popular with my partner as. Ow I don’t finish until 10:30pm.

    when I rang him to explain he asked if I wanted him to bring my car in … this to me is not an option, there is not parking anywhere near where I work and If you want one in the multistory car parks you have to be early or have hospital ID.

    I said no and could instantly hear the tone in his voice when he said “ok I’ll just pick you up then?”
    I said yes please …

    this is my life everyday this, and I know his children (who are grown and moved out) have learned to deal with this .. they know they can’t rely on him for a ride after 5pm he will be drunk … if there’s an emergency call an ambulance or someone else … can’t stay out if he hasn’t taken beer with him he will always find a stupid excuse to go home but I know it’s to get his beer

    I honestly feel like crying as I’m typing this

    this is my life and I hate it

  17. smallwolf
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    smallwolf avatar
    5765 posts
    11 September 2021 in reply to Suckerforpunishment

    I read what I consider to be a heart breaking story ... your story.

    And it one sense sounded a little like venting - letting out your frustrations or anger to the world about the behaviour of your partner. I also read you said you had tried talking with him about this, though it sounds like that did not work out. As Geoff said and you also mentioned the effects this has on other people such as yourself.

    Now I am over 50 now with my own issues, but I had get advice on how to talk to my wife so that it would not look like I was blaming or pointing the finger in her direction etc. If you are interested in me sharing something about this please let me know.

    The other thing I was curious about was when it becomes too much? Or that you have had enough? Have you been able to anyone at work or friends about this?

    The questions above are more for reflection and please do not feel pressured to answer here. But I am listening and if you want to chat some more...

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up